Raising a Teenager…

First things first, Mom and Dad, I love and appreciate everything you ever did for me growing up! You Rocked as parents! I loved hanging out with you. Our house always felt safe. Having kids of my own entering their teens I understand how important it is for them to feel like they have a place where they can be themselves. I love being the house where kids gather and hang out.

Teenagers are naturally programmed to push the boundaries to get their own independence. One day parents are hilarious and the next day our behavior is embarrassing and frowned upon. That’s a hard transition to make as a parent. Words out of the mouths of babes are cute, out of the mouths of teenagers can sometimes sting.

Surging hormones, cry-laugh-bitch all within 3 minutes of each other sums up the unpredictable life of a teen. Remember how up and down your emotions were during puberty? My only hope is that I don’t go through peri-menopause at the same time my daughter goes through puberty or she’ll be going to the moon with Alice!

I was a great kid growing up, until my Mom wouldn’t let my older boyfriend (wild bill) who had a beard, study in my room with the door closed. Okay I find humour in that now, was it really that obvious! What-EVER! She turned into the opposition that day but fortunately it only lasted a short time, at least that’s my recollection. My Mom just let me ride the hormone wave until I was done while she maintained her loving support with my Dad at her side incase she needed the big guns for back-up. (she did, it worked) Thanks Mom! I learned a thing or two about respect in a very short time. (ya never call your Mom the B-word…doesn’t turn out in your favour…ever!)

When you’re a teen you can’t imagine your parents doing anything remotely close to sex so you assume you can pull the wool over their eyes! If your reading this Jordan, if your boyfriend has a beard, he won’t even be entering the front door let alone your pig sty you call a room! Fortunately for me my Mom was smart, understanding and stood her ground keeping me headed in the right direction. I can now appreciate how hard it was for her to deal with a girl-tween.

I have a 13 year old son who is way too charming and handsome for his own good and a 10 going on 16 year old girl who is starting to strike fear into us with how beautiful she is inside and out. Thank god she has a hilarious sense of humour! Her brother is going to have his work cut out for him in high school. The fun has just begun! I’m definitely up for the challenge and also have a great support system in place. Hugely important!

I liked my parents so I spent lots of time with them. They were cool parents that were always there for me no matter what. My Mom was generous, loving and very open and my Dad was encouraging and hilarious so were laughing all the time. We still do. I was never able to lie to my Mom, maybe because I didn’t need to. She was completely tuned into what I was up, and still is. She can tell by the sound of my voice what’s going on in my life. Honestly I always feel better after hearing her advice. I don’t always take it but I still like to hear it.

I recently had ‘the’ talk with my son on the way to a party about being aware and safe. I had the same talk my Dad had with me. He simply told me I was his only daughter who he loved and trusted and couldn’t imagine life without me. He always wanted me to be safe. I told my son how important it is to always have a clear mind. It’s when your mind is clouded that things can go terribly wrong. Teaching your kids to make conscious smart choices is so important, to be a leader not a follower. Its tough raising kids when they’re little but nothing prepares you for when they start to spread their wings to fly on their own, bitter sweet for sure. Telling your kids that you trust them right before they go out is like buying insurance, no kid really wants to disappoint their parents. Say it even if you don’t! 🙂 All kids make mistakes, the key is to be there for them when they do and support them, don’t say I told you so!

Kids need their parents when they are little to survive, but I think when they start to naturally push us away is when they need us more, even if it’s sitting together in silence. Just knowing your there if they reach out is sometimes all they need.

 

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Just Walk Away My Friend

I’m hot. I’m cold.  I’ve entered that time in my life.  I need a sweater.  I need to take off a sweater.  Is someone messing with the controls on the wall thermometer?  No, it’s me.

I wake at 3 or 4 am because my body is radiating an intense heat.  I have to throw the covers off, peeling away any layers of extra fabric that may be adding even slightly to the sudden fire glowing throughout me.  I reach my arms over my head and place my sweaty palms on the head board looking for cool spots to quench the heat.  It lasts for only a minute or two and then I’m cold and scrambling to bury myself in covers again.

And I try to go back to sleep.  How is it that my mind can be so alert at this time of the morning?  It’s like a bad game of word association.  You’re sweatingSweat.  Time to sweat the small stuff!  That’s right, we are going to meticulously go over all the little things that may or may not happen tomorrow that you may or may not want to happen tomorrow and all the little things that caught your attention today…especially the negative ones.

So this is the beginning… or the ending, depending on how you choose to look at it. It’s the waning of my menstruation.  The end of an era; the child bearing years are over.  I’m more than fine with that, but could we just slam the book shut with conviction instead of this menopausal indecision.  Miss a period or two or three then oh goody, it’s back again and usually with a vengeance.  Seriously! Make up your mind, are you staying or are you going? I don’t mean to sound rude, but I hope you just go because you really are a big drag and you’ve kind of out stayed your welcome.

I have friends who just woke up one day and said, “Hey, I haven’t had a period in a few months, guess it’s over for me.” And it was.  I’m considering dumping these friends.

I guess I shouldn’t complain.  If I believed my mothers account of this time in her life then I really have it easy.  Going through menopause for her was like climbing Mt. Everest on one leg without oxygen …if Mt. Everest was as hot as Venus. Or maybe it will be like that for me but I’ve only just tied up my peri-menopausal hiking boots.  Oh God, shoot me now!

All kidding aside, I feel a little sentimental as I face the end of this era.  You served me well all these years, my “friend”. We even shared some laughs. Like those times you tried to trick me by not showing up on time while I paced and prayed for your return.  I have to admit I cried for joy more than once when you did finally show. Scoundrel! It was sweet of you to stay away when I was planning my son’s arrival though.  Thanks for that bud!

But if it’s time to leave, well then leave you must.  Walk away and don’t look back.  It’s best this way.  Adios amigo!

What?  No,  don’t look back.  Don’t turn around. Noooo, don’t you come back! …and here we go again!

 

p.s. Happy CANADA DAY everyone!

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